My June blog intentions were thwarted but I shall make up for it now. My intention in this monthly blog from here on-in is to connect with y'all in a far more personal way than I have dared before.
Less 'check me out cos I'm so freakin' AH-mazingly together and happening' ....and more honestly sharing my journey and experience with you. Truth be told my musical ride thus far has been anything but smooth. Last November I wrote a Facebook rant about music streaming services that went viral and consequently aired on a TV news segment in Australia whilst I was in Mexico. Ironically it's success was due to my honest frustration at the time. I learned that real connection with folks happens when I am far more honest. I have been glossing over the grit of my life for years hoping that if I present my social media self as if I am absolutely 'killing it' then somehow I will 'kill it'. Bahaaa! Too funny.
Some of you already know I reached crisis point in my life last year. Nothing made sense anymore. I was unhappy most of the time and frustrated to be working a day-job and still chipping away slowly in bits and pieces at my real passion and life purpose. I knew that if I didn't make drastic change I was on a slippery slope to a dark place I never want to return to. I had also trained as a professional clinical hypnotherapist to support my music career but I was so desperately distracted with it that my sadness had escalated. I also read Steven Pressfields life-changing book Going Pro and revelled in the brunt of it's ass-kicking that hit me right where I needed it!.
I shocked my friends, sold up, quit my job and moved away from the 'security' that had me lulled into a sleepy life that I could see replaying on repeat year after year. Nowhere felt like home anymore and as much as this perplexed me...it propelled me into the next chapter.
Yes I had done some great things up until then. I had formed a 10 piece fricken Mexican-Mariachi band in Melbourne and formed an on-going collaboration with Twin Tones in Mexico City but there was ....more. My gut feelings and intuition gnaw, tug and pull at my soul so loudly that I cannot ignore them and they have NEVER failed me. I honour their wisdom even when it makes no logic; Just like the time almost 5 years ago that I was suddenly compelled to walk into the travel agent on Smith St in Melbourne to say "I need to book a flight to Mexico to record with a band". I had no saving, no Spanish and no contacts!? I questioned my sanity at the time but obviously it all was part of the master plan.
So last August I fled Melbourne and saved my mental health by hitting the road in my beloved van Lady-Luck. When no place feels like home I roam. With the help of a little Pledgemusic Crowdfunding and my credit card I hopped on a plane to Mexico to record the new Spaghetti-Mex-Western album with Twin Tones. I also enjoyed the most valuable soul searching adventures from Ayahuasca in the jungle, Peyote on the white sands of Tulum under stars with a shaman to bus rides over the Mexican border into Guatemala!
During that trip I was reminded of great things; My life purpose. There is no race. The money will come somehow. Trust in the process. Be myself. Do what I love and love what I do. Experience is invaluable; "I grow richer for every penny I spend" (Thanks NAB!)....and yes that is a new lyric to a new song.
I will never forget my psychedelic Ayahuasca experience leading the way to the deepest tears of laughter as I realised I was in the perfect place. My palms slapped against the concrete floor in excruciating side-splitting funnies as I finally understood I wasn't lost at all because I was more found than ever!. I desperately tried to swallow my laughter because I didn't want the other participants to think I was laughing at their audible throwing up inside their handy plastic buckets across the darkened space.
Fast forward a few months and I came back to Oz 'homeless' but found in the blissful surrounds of my mothers property while I work out the rest of the plan. Focussing on doing what I love solely has meant a MASSIVE life overhaul! I had to address so freakin much. Any independent muso will relate to this but it is hard to convey to most folks outside of it. So making a living from doing what I love alone would mean FOCUSSING & working INTENSELY on many things. My songwriting craft. Writing and learning like a mo-fo. Improving my instrument skills. Overhauling my Website. Being my own booking agent. Being my own publicist. Being my own manager. Living within my means. (not going out 'cause I spent all my Money in Mexico and refuse to go on the dole!). Staying home 99% of the time over the next several months during this transformation...and trusting that all my choices are part of the master plan. It is too easy to freak out as I get older and compare myself to others.....but I am learning to let go of that a bit better with each day I follow my heart.
I have dared to honour my talents and indulge in the very things that make my soul sing. I have written new songs, developed my craft of songwriting, overhauled my online presence (and still chipping away at that), booked a big East Coast tour and begun a new solo album.
Some may call me 'selfish' or completely irresponsible. No regular job? No steady income? I say Yes you are dead right! I have reduced my expenses and dare to create a life I love that I don't need a holiday from. I am lucky I have had family and friends that have supported me through some of the toughest months. Thank you very, very much. I am happier now. I am alive and full of creativity. I have more to offer the world.
Even though it can be bloody scary at times creating your own career that has zero stability I can honestly say I look to the future with hope now and have oodles of pride in the present.
Thanks for sharing the journey. It is nice to be heard.